4 mechanism that causes us to cherish the causes of their misfortunes

There are cases when a person, not devoid of common sense, years of suffering unfavorable working conditions or firmly stuck in painful relationships, the futility of which is obvious to everyone around you, and sometimes for himself.

Irregular reinforcement

This is as old as the world, the mechanism is the basis of most of the unfortunate loves, and a particularly insidious methods of work with personnel.

Its extreme variant led Dovlatov: "I had a friend the money changers Shark. Beat his wife with a shovel. Gave it to shampoo his beloved. Killed the cat. One time in my life made my wife a cheese sandwich. Wife all night crying with emotion and tenderness. Canned nine years in Mordovia sent. Waiting...".

Unpredictable the fun associated with a particular source, much stronger binds us to this source, than a regular promotion, so, for example, the alternation of coquetry and indifference often is the response of a passion than constant attention, and a sudden bonus for a job well done inspires more than the annual thirteenth salary.


You can talk about human love for the intrigue and sweetness of the forbidden fruit, but the system works great and animals: in the first half of the twentieth century, found a psychologist, a behaviorist Berres Skinner in his experiments with rats.

Initially, the rats formed a conditioned reflex: for the pedal, gave her food. Then the food started to give out through time, then even less (but equal intervals of time), respectively, the interest rats to the pedal began to fade.

But if a rat is encouraged rarely, but occasionally, the reflex was long — pressing on the pedal, the unfortunate animal each time hoping that he will fall to anything. This picture is worth to keep in mind for those who spend weeks waiting for a call from windy partner.


Good motivation on a conscious level does not mean that a person will achieve their goals, sometimes he is disturbed not by external obstacles, and his own counterproductive behavior.

Psychologists call this self-sabotage mechanism. It can be triggered by low self-esteem, fear to make a mistake, morbid perfectionism or an unwillingness to take responsibility for their own lives.

Self-sabotage manifests itself in many different forms — from unreasonable self-criticism or, on the contrary, the constant complaints on external factors to familiar to many of procrastination.

Self-sabotage is a typical reaction to internal conflict between the conscious and the installation of a subconscious desire or conviction.

The problem may be that our brain doesn't see much of a difference between physical and psychological discomfort and is trying to protect us both from the first, and second. Therefore, there are patterns of behaviour designed to protect our delicate ego from wounds related to frustration and low self-esteem.

Setting ambitious goals, many people can program themselves to fail, in fact, wrote Bulgakov, low not dangerous to fall, and great success has side effects is a big responsibility, jealousy of others and high demands on themselves, which is not so easy to meet in the future.

There is a kind of self-sabotage as proactive avoidance. Proactive avoidance nature in the first place socially-anxious people who are able to show the wonders of ingenuity to avoid phone calls or go unnoticed, when faced with a friend at the Mall.

If the person at least knows what he's doing is not so bad, but often, with proactive avoidance of the subject causes people unknowingly to stay away from him, and then uses their response as an argument against dialogue — "I don't need and try to meet people — still no one likes me". It is a vicious circle.

A secondary benefit

At the heart of many types of self-sabotage lies a secondary benefit. Common situation — a person complains of intolerable conditions of life, constantly trying to change them... and do nothing, finding various excuses.

From the outside it may look like a weakling and a whiner, but really the problem is not so much the lack of willpower, but a lack of motivation.

At first glance, this seems paradoxical: the subject is clearly unhappy with the current state of Affairs in his best interests to change it. But all is not so simple: between the conscious and unconscious desires and goals sometimes there is a significant gap.

For example, giperatidnyi people always complaining that he never helps, and sometimes runs into a serious melancholy due to the lack of people on whom he could rely.

From time to time he even struggled to change the social circle. But when he offered help, he from her proudly refuses, saying that he himself will cope. Maybe he's subconsciously afraid of becoming dependent on others or he likes the image of a person who can do everything. Anyway, his behavior brings him not only suffering, but unconscious and inner satisfaction.

A secondary benefit may be to stay in your comfort zone. Many already know of the motivational posters that the real magic (as well as achievements, development and in General interesting life) occurs outside this zone, but people with high anxiety often try to avoid uncertainty.

Besides, not everyone understands that a comfort zone is not necessarily lying under a blanket with a book and a box of doughnuts: one can live in constant stress and not to go beyond it.

Because this is primarily an area where the person feel comfortable, familiar and predictable and he does not have to come up with innovative solutions — and this criterion may be subject to the seemingly uncomfortable conditions. For example, for repeat offenders comfort zone can become a prison, and a person who grew up in an oppressive family, a home where it will be controlled.

Incomplete Gestalt

Sometimes, experiencing pain or having suffered defeat, the man with maniacal persistence continues to step on the same rake, and repeat ineffective behaviors. Usually it is because some situation in the past is not felt as complete and incomplete processes, we remember better. This psychological law is called the Zeigarnik effect, named after the Soviet psychologist the Zeigarnik Blooms.

One day she noticed that the waiters remember all backorders and will immediately forget made. This pattern of human memory was confirmed after a series of scientific experiments. The stress associated with incomplete processes that can benefit in helping us not to forget about their needs, but the past can start to prevent this.

In Gestalt therapy Gestalt is the image of a certain situation in which a person interacts with the outside world. It covers the period of time between the occurrence of needs and its satisfaction.

If the person remains dissatisfied, the situation is delayed in the memory and can cause various failures in the psyche and behavior. For example, because of a subconscious desire to dot the "i" person can provoke in a new relationship conflicts, unsettled with the same partner. Or to provide a familiar service that is not required of the guilt of someone else.

Sometimes due to incomplete gestalts there are problems in drawing boundaries between themselves and the external environment — for example, codependency (excessive deep preoccupation with the other person) or retroflexion — avoidance mechanism, in which the subject is active changes in the environment, logical in the current situation, directs all his aggressive energy into himself.published

Author Mikhail Litvak

P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©

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